Fizik Aliante Carbon Twin Flex - By Twain Mein
[*]Cost: $250 MSRP
[*]Soft Gel-Like center supported by Carbon Frame
[*]Replaceable Scuff Guards
[*]Natural Leather Seat Cover
[*]Made in Italy
[*]ICS bag compatible
[*]Weight: Claimed 199 grams. Actual: 215.
- Finding the perfect saddle isn't easy. In the olden days, a hard saddle was said to be preferred because you don't bounce in the seat. But at 40+ years, it's nice to have a little cush for your tush! I've had the famous Selle Italia Turbo, a bunch of Avocets, Selle Flite (135 grams of masochism), and the highly acclaimed Fizik Airone (I find it too wide in the wrong places and numbness-inducing). My favorite of late has been the Selle Gel, but it's a bit portly at 285 grams, and it's no longer made.
I was in the market for a new saddle for my new rig, a Cervelo R3. I'd always been intrigued by the Aliante because, gad, it seemed to have soft padding but was reasonably light. Finally decided to get one-and I'm totally pleased.
The Aliante features a narrow though padded nose with a wide and high back. This essentially allows 2 positions on the seat. Sitting forward you can spin, Lance Armstrong style. Pushed back against the seat, you can use your quads to power up hills. In the middle you can cruise away happily. But the padding isn't too excessive; you won't bounce in the saddle losing efficiency.
It does take a while to dial-in the seat height, though. Because of the stepped up rear, the saddle is significantly higher in the back. It's a good idea to set the seat height biased toward the (lower) front. Otherwise you can get knee pain from pushing from too low. Once dialed, however, it's awesome.
Best saddle I've ridden.